Classic Rock’s New Releases Round-Up
This week, we’ve a massive box set from the metal gods, a new compilation from one of the Big Four, some Lambs slaughtering all in their path, a Savage young British band and ‘Wino’ whining.
Words: Malcolm Dome
Here come the Priest. Who else but Judas Priest, that is. Now, there will be cries of ‘rip off!’ as far as The Complete Albums Collection (Legacy) is concerned. This is a 17-CD box set with every studio and live album the band have done with Rob Halford. Both Rocka Rolla and Sad Wings Of Destiny have been remastered, but this apart what you get are the original albums untouched. Unless you are a Priest collector, or have only just discovered the might of the metal gods, it’s hard to believe you’d go out of your way to buy this. However, musically this is just metal heaven.
Lamb Of God are now regarded as one of the pre-eminent contemporary metal bands. Resolution (Roadrunner) tells you why. It bristles with edge and energy, coupled with some seismic musicianship and erupting songs. Easily a class above most albums if this type you’ll hear in 2012.
The Poor are almost an archetypal Aussie hard rock band. Round 1 And 2 (Bad Reputation) is a 22-tracker that packages together the Round 1 and Round 2 albums (hence that cunning title). It’s entertaining in a Rose Tattoo style, but in all honesty it starts to get a little wearing about halfway through. This should have been kept down to around 10 songs.
Last year, EMI released an exhaustive UFO set documenting their glory days. So, you have to wonder what possible selling point there is with Too Hot To Handle – The Very Best Of UFO (Music Club Deluxe). It covers the same territory, albeit on two CDs as opposed to five, and is slightly more selective. But any fans would want the whole package, surely?
Savage Messiah were giving away new album Plague Of Conscience (Earache) at the end of last year. Now, it’s available on CD. An if you’re bag is NWOBHM tradition with a lean and mean 2012 edge, then this is an album that’s mandatory. The more you hear this, the more you’ll be convinced they are gonna be one of the metal names of the year.
Zodiac N Black are yet another reason why British rock is in such a healthy state right now. Debut album The Aftermyth (STM) harks back slightly to the alt.rock of the 90s, with a little grunge snap, and plenty of contemporary pop-rock edge. It all suggests a band with the potential to grow into something special, given the time and encouragement.
Scott ‘Wino’ Weinrich has a reputation firmly established in the stoner and doom areas. And Heavy Kingdom (Exile On Mainstream) sees him team up with more hippyish Conny Ocks for what might be described as an acoustic yet intense album. The songs are sparse and ascetic, and are really dark. Yet you can’t help but be entranced by the way these two combine.
Last year, Anthrax proved they’ve still got a lot of life left with new album Worship Music. Now, their back catalogue has been raided for Icon (Universal). It’s a compilation of obvious songs, presumably aimed at those to whom the band were virtual unknowns, until their exposure on the Big Four shows. Hard to argue with the choices, but who on earth is gonna buy it? Very few, it would seem. In its first week on sale in America, this sold 64 copies!
Finally, the 40th anniversary of The Doors’ L.A. Woman is celebrated on the DVD Mr. Mojo Risin’ (Eagle Vision). Much of the footage has been seen before, although there are new interviews with the likes of Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger and John Densmore. And the presence of the previously unreleased song She Smells So Nice is a real bonus.